Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the Editor
Suggested Name Change for A.S.A.
C. Ray Carlsun Stureciigen
18 18010 Enebyberg, Sweden
From: JASA 21 (June 1969): 59.
I believe that the ideas, discussions, and philosophy of the A.S.A. could more readily be promulgated in other parts of this world if our organization and its publication were not "burdened" with the word "American" in its name.
In the present era of rebellion and revolution around the world, it is all too popular to be antiAmerican and prejudiced against everything which emanates from our country. Having lived in Europe, specifically Sweden, for six years now, I am perhaps more acutely aware of the animosity which prevails. American churchianity is a particular target for ridicule by Europeans who like to associate our national weaknesses with the hypocrisy of our so-called Christians.
Though I love my country, its heritage, the flag, etc.. I do not think I am unpatriotic when I suggest that the cause of our Saviour is best served globally when we avoid those encumbrances which put people off and are in addition to the unavoidable stigma of the Cross. Paul says that we are citizens of Heaven (Phil. 3:20, j. B. Phillips) and I believe that when we take this literally it affects our outlook and our involvement in the needs of the world. We are Christians, who incidentally happen to be Americans (and that through no initiative of our own). Missionaries, overseas laymen, and organizations which keep those distinctions in the right sequence usually are more effective and less apt to be tagged as "ugly Americans".
It is difficult to gain acceptance for the ASA Journal by university libraries, professors, and students because of its clear American identification. It is difficult for interested laymen overseas to try to establish local chapters or committees of the ASA. Yet the concept of the ASA and the ideas and discussions set forth in the journal are so desperately needed in all parts of the world. Of course there are a few organizations similar to the ASA in other lands, but to my knowledge they are just as provincial as the ASA. Why not broaden our horizons and set out to establish a world-wide "ASA"? Why not move out to universities and scientific centers across the world and there do battle for the cause of Christ our Saviour? I have met outstanding European scientists and engineers who have a clear Christian witness and who could undoubtedly contribute significantly to writings in the journal and who would be strengthened by association with their American counterparts.
So, I am really asking for more than a name change-it must be a change in dimension of our outreach. Other evangelical American organizations are already facing this challenge-the ASA must, too.
*Communications of all sorts: letters, short comments, poems, responses, reactions and just plain sharing-are invited for this section of the Journal. Such contributions should not exceed one page in length. The Editor reserves the right to publish here all letters addressed to him, unless specifically requested otherwise by the author.